The world, both inside and outside the schoolhouse, has changed considerably since the Supreme Court decided Tinker v. Des Moines in 1969. Education in much of the United States is now inextricably linked with technology, and the schoolhouse is, increasingly, digital. This article critically examines the impact of the increasing use of technology on students’ First Amendment rights, looking at the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Mahanoy v. B.L. Specifically, it examines the effect of allowing schools to restrict speech on school-issued devices.

Disciplining speech that takes place on school-issued devices will have a silencing effect on students who do not have access to personal devices. These students, who often come from low- income homes and are disproportionately likely to be students of color, use school-issued devices to engage in speech. This speech is not only more likely to be monitored by school officials, but also more likely to be restricted and silenced while their peers remain free to engage in identical speech on personal devices.

Importantly, consideration of device ownership is unnecessary as it does not speak to whether a student’s speech causes a “substantial disruption” or otherwise speak to the impact on the school community. Additionally, it erodes parental rights by impermissibly extending the reach of school authority into homes and other areas traditionally reserved for parental control.

Any barrier to speech that disproportionately affects a subset of already disenfranchised students and families is antithetical to the very ideals the Supreme Court has consistently upheld. Therefore, this article argues that this factor must be removed from the analysis.

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